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By: Jacob La Cava
Few sports are as high-flying, dangerous and downright entertaining as those that fall under the “extreme sports” category. Such a title can refer to anything from skateboarding and snowboarding to UFC fighting. Unsurprisingly, athletes who participate in these sports are just as passionate about CBD as they are about their chosen professions. Here are 5 extreme sports athletes who use CBD.
Nate Diaz is one of the most well known fighters in the UFC at present, adored by many because of his impressive fighting skills and aggressive, “I do and say what I want” attitude. As a professional UFC fighter since 2004, the lightweight athlete has amassed 20 wins and 12 losses. Of those 20 wins, he was won by submission 11 times, by knockout/technical knockout 5 times and by judge’s decision 4 times. One of his most notable victories came against Connor McGregor, who was in the midst of tearing through his competitors. He managed to accomplish all of this, even with the handicap of having come from Stockton, a former gold rush town that is now best known for being the “asparagus capital of the world” and the “armpit of Central California.”
When he’s not fighting, Diaz is an outspoken advocate for CBD use. He has even used a CBD vape pen before while fielding questions at a UFC press conference, showing his unabashed support for cannabidiol. Both Nick and his brother Nate, who is also a UFC fighter, have been issued warnings and punishments from the UFC for their use of CBD and other cannabis products, but the two haven’t been scared away from the compound. In fact, they even founded a CBD-infused nutrition company, planting themselves squarely in the foundation of the sports CBD revolution.
Ask any skateboarder around the world if they know who Tony Hawk is, and they’ll look at you as if disappointed that you even needed to ask. Tony’s name is synonymous with professional skateboarding; he’s the Michael Jordan of the half-pipe, in a way. Hawk’s success came early, as he entered the world of professional skateboarding at the age of fourteen. From 1983 to 2003, he placed 1st in over 60 individual competitions and was the National Skateboarding Association world champion for 12 straight years. In 1999, he became the first pro skateboarder to land a “900,” which involves performing 2 ½ revolutions while mid-air. Lastly, he was part of the inaugural inductee class for the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.
Tony Hawk grew his brand outside of the skateboarding world, branching out to video games, television, movies and more without having to sacrifice any aspect of his skating persona. Like many other skaters, it was only a matter of time before Hawk also got himself involved with the CBD industry. Hawk’s brand “Birdhouse,” which usually produces skateboarding materials and merchandise, partnered with an existing CBD powerhouse to create a CBD balm which is being marketed toward those with a passion for skating. Tony’s influence over pro skateboarding can’t be understated, so his endorsement of CBD is a huge deal.
While her name might not be as widely known or celebrated as Hawk or Diaz, it most certainly deserves to be. She could be considered one of the founders of competitive extreme snowboarding, having competed in the sport in its earliest years of existence. She used prototype boards created by Jake Burton Carpenter, one of the inventors of the modern snowboard. In 1992, Greta competed in the first World Extreme Snowboard Championship against 19 men, and she subsequently became the first Women’s snowboarding champion. Once her career came to a close, she moved to sports television and then music, following in the artistic footsteps of her parents.
Outside of sports, Greta is an active supporter of the legalization of cannabis. According to her, the plant is a part of the culture of extreme snowboarding, and she is interested in seeing its use become more widespread. She founded and operates The Hempery, a company that sells hemp-based skin care products. The decision to create a hemp-based company such as this was influenced by her interactions and conversations with legendary performers Neil Young and Willie Nelson. She also supports “Women Grow,” a group focused on women leading the cannabis industry.
Andy Macdonald is another prolific skateboarder whose career is filled with consistent, medal-worthy performances in major competitions. Originally from Massachusetts, Macdonald began skating when he was 12, he reached the professional level by 20 in 1994, and the rest is history. In 1998, he was awarded the title of “Best Overall Skater” by a reader-based poll in a major skateboarding magazine, and fans of the sport admired his ability to medal in most of the events he participated in, even when faced with competition that was much younger than him. He placed first in the X-Games from 1997-2002 as a vert doubles competitor, alongside Tony Hawk. If you ever find yourself in a competition against the two of them, it’s probably best to just throw in the towel immediately. He came in first place in World Cup Skateboarding competitions from 1996-2000, then he placed first again in 2002 and 2012.
Now, Macdonald is partnered with a prominent CBD manufacturer as an advocate for extreme sports athletes using CBD. The 10-time world champion and 23-time X Games medalist is a firm believer in CBD, and he hopes that other athletes should experience the compound in the same way that he does. While his voice might be as dominant as someone such as Tony Hawk, it still goes a long way in the skateboarding world, where the allure of cannabidiol seems to be steadily growing.
Liz Carmouche is a premier UFC fighter whose career has taken her through several different fighting associations. After spending 5 years with the Marine Corps, she began fighting professionally in 2010 as part of Strikeforce, a mixed martial arts and kickboxing organization. In her two years with the organization, she was chosen as a substitute in a bantamweight title bout and very nearly usurped the reigning title holder. In 2013, she made her UFC debut, in which she contended with Ronda Rousey for the women’s bantamweight title. To date, her record in the UFC is 5-5, while her overall professional record is 13-7. She was also the first openly lesbian fighter in UFC history, making her a pioneer for LGBT members of the professional fighting scene.
Carmouche is a major advocate for using CBD, stating that she uses CBD-infused topical products after many of her workouts. She believes that a hefty amount of misinformation has been spread surrounding the compound, which is a belief held by many of her fellow athletes as well. With any luck, her continued advocacy will allow those both within the world of pro fighting and outside of it to delve deeper into the world of cannabidiol and discover how incredible it can truly be.
These are 5 extreme sports athletes who use, and are stated advocates for, CBD. While these are some of the more prominent voices in the argument for CBD in sports, many more athletes are also throwing in their voices, hoping to change the rhetoric around the compound.
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